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January-February 2013
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January-February 2013 CoverJanuary/February 2013


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* Behind the Meter Cover

by Joseph Wages, Jr.

Meter enclosures are part of every electrical system. But how often do you look inside the enclosure after it has been installed and energized? A utility provider provides electricity to a customer in order to make a profit. Typically, this is accomplished by metering the electrical system at the point of connection. Electronic receiver/transmitter (ERT) meters are becoming more of the norm in today’s electrical metering systems. They provide many benefits to the electric utility provider and to the customer. But, this could allow for many unforeseen problems as well. Read more

Perspectives on PV

* Unraveling the Mysterious 705.12(D) Load Side PV Connections

by John Wiles

The requirements pertaining to the connection of utility-interactive photovoltaic (PV) power systems to the load side of the main service disconnecting means have been with us for years. In the earlier codes, the driver was 690.64(B) and now those requirements are found in 705.12(D). Read more

* Article 240, Part 1 — Overcurrent Protection

by Randy Hunter

Overcurrent protection is a subject on which we could write volumes; however, our objective here is to cover the basics in order to provide the information needed for the combination inspector. This is actually a fun portion of training, as we usually take apart devices and explore how they operate. Check out the included photos that illustrate some of the details that we usually look at in training classes, and don’t be hesitant about disassembling equipment (that you don’t plan to install later!) to see what is inside. Read more

* Cablebus

by Steve Douglas

The new standard for cablebus C22.2 No 273 is scheduled for publication by September of this year. This new standard will be the first standard for cablebus in North America. The committee includes the six major cablebus manufacturers in North America, two switchgear manufacturers, CSA, and an IAEI representative. Read more

2013 International President Steve Douglas — IAEI Focuses on 5 Goals for 2013

by Steve Douglas

Incoming International President Steve Douglas has announced five goals for 2013. These undertakings are designed to assist IAEI in taking a giant step forward in membership, in the industry, in technology, in outreach and in establishing real presence in local communities and across the world. Read more

401(k) Loans: The Last Resort?

by Jesse Abercrombie

As you’re well aware, we’re living in difficult economic times. Consequently, you may be forced to make some financial moves you wouldn’t normally undertake. One such move you might be considering is taking out a loan from your 401(k) plan — but is this a good idea? Read more

Operating Portable Generators

by Underwriters Laboratories

When a hurricane downs power lines, electricity is often one of the initial services to fail. In response, many people use portable generators to weather the inconvenience until power is restored. Read more

Gratitude — The Path to Excellence

by Steve Foran

After one of my gratitude workshops, a business owner remarked, "If I let my staff know that I am grateful for their performance when they fall short of a goal, I am basically giving them permission to underperform. And I just cannot allow that because we will never grow or achieve our stretch goals.” I did not offer up a good response and his comments sent me searching for a better answer. Here goes…. Read more

Speed Control of Motors — An Introduction to Variable-Frequency Drives

by Stephen J. Vidal

Speed, torque, and horsepower are three interrelated parameters in motor control. The speed of a motor measured in revolutions per minute (RPM) defines a motor’s ability to spin at a rate per unit time. The torque of a motor measured in foot-pounds (ft-lb) is a rotational characteristic of the motor that is the algebraic product of force multiplied by distance. Electrically, one horsepower (hp) is equal to 746 watts. What is interesting about these motor parameters is that if you change one of the three variables, the other two are affected. For example, if you increase horsepower while keeping speed constant, torque increases. Read more



What Part Does IAEI Play in Disaster Relief?

by David Clements

Disasters are usually characterized by short reaction/response times, overwhelming devastation to infrastructure, and a strain on the tangible and intangible resources of the affected community. Earthquakes, fires, floods, hurricanes, and tornadoes often damage electrical resources and severely impact communities economically, financially, and socially. Decision makers at local, state, and federal levels are expected to quickly implement plans to restore order and to mitigate the aftermath of these disasters. Read more

Canadian Code

Another Look at Appendix B

by Leslie Stoch

In an earlier article, I suggested checking for an Appendix B interpretation when applying any of the Canadian Electrical Code rules for the first time. Appendix B is there to help us better understand the intent of the CEC rules and to provide important supporting information. Here are a few more examples. Read more

Canadian Perspectives

Elevator Code and the Building Code — Are these documents in conflict?

by Ark Tsisserev

After my recent article on the subject of consistency between the National Building Code of Canada (NBCC) and certain codes and standards referenced by the NBCC, I have received a few e-mails with expressions of frustration and with questions from the readers regarding potential conflict between the NBCC and the Elevator Code ASME A17/CSA B44 harmonized between the USA and Canada. Read more

Safety in Our States

2013 Your New year Electrical Safety Checklist

by Thomas A. Domitrovich

It’s a new year and a great time to get your head in the safety game. The New Year is a great trigger to prompt safety meetings and to create the dialog to understand your successes and failures and to chart the safety course for the New Year. Yes, the New Year can be a trigger for this type of activity as triggers for safety actions are not new as evidenced by the changing of the clocks initiating the replacing of batteries in smoke alarms. It is unfortunate that the New Year has become associated with lost causes; sort of like the resolution to lose those unwanted pounds found over the holidays. Then again, it could be that the New Year just hasn’t met electrical safety yet, so let’s make the introductions and change the previous association to one of success and saving lives. Read more

UL Question Corner

UL Certifies First Modular Data Center

by Underwriters Laboratories

With the advent of cloud computing, there seems to be a lot of modular data centers popping up. Does UL certify (List) modular or containerized data centers that are typically housed in an enclosure like a shipping container and are filled with computer servers? Read more

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